Trainer Peter Roche is hopeful the only horse he has in training can give him victory in his home track Cup.
Transfer Allowance runs in Saturday’s Pakenham Cup after finishing fourth in the 2500m race 12 months ago.
Roche says this year’s contest looks easier on paper, however it hasn’t been plain sailing in the lead up.
Transfer Allowance finished a last-start 11th at Moonee Valley over 2040m on November 17.
“He had a crook back after that which ran through to the large muscles on his rump, the gluteals.
“He was very sore and couldn’t stretch out.
“It’s a bitter sweet thing. You’re glad to see something has gone wrong but you don’t want anything to go wrong.
“I’ve got a good vet so we’ve cleaned all that up and everything’s back on track.”
Caulfield Cup-winning jockey Cory Parish has the ride and Roche said his instructions would be to hold the gelding up for as long as possible.
“The 2500 metres has got me a little bit worried,” Roche said.
“If I can get Cory to hold him up to about the 600 metres and let go then, hopefully we might get somewhere in the money.
“We’d be delighted with a top-five finish.”
Roche is winding down his training operation with Transfer Allowance owned by daughter Monique.
With Monique’s partner Thomas Carberry recently granted a trainers’ licence, Roche said he wouldn’t mind lending a helping hand.
“We’re a bit away where we are so we’d like to move and be a bit closer to the family and share in a bit of the fun,” Roche said.
“I could get a horse and potter around, clean out stables or take a horse to the races when he can’t.
“I wouldn’t mind.”
Transfer Allowance is a $41 chance, the same price he went around last year when fourth behind Pilote D’essai.